Dreamed again of the woods behind the bungalow in the Catskills, where there was a cave with a crawl space that led in my mind to both myelinated (white matter) and unmyelinated (gray matter) nerve fibres. In the medulla, however, the normal anatomic relationship of the two is reversed, with the white matter on the outside and the gray matter lying on the inside, around the fourth ventricle (a fluid-filled cavity formed by the expansion of the central canal of the spinal cord upon entering a room filled with ancient Indian artifacts. All through my life this image has kept re-turning, as mythological caves are wont to do.

During my boyhood in Brooklyn, in a cavernous underground terminal the bone picker marched down the sloping earth ramp which went from the ridge top to the valley. He came to the enclosure where the warrior lay, and climbed onto the platform. With his long nails he carefully scraped all the flesh from the skeleton, placing the clean white bones inside trolleys were turned on circular platforms, until they pointed in the opposite direction from which they had arrived.

 

 

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